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Susie Wolff: "I don't race to prove a point about women, I race because it's my passion" [EXCLUSIVE]

We spoke to Formula 1's leading lady about sexy photoshoots, flying the flag for Scotland and making it against the odds in a male dominated sport

Geared up for a challenge: "The gender issue will always be there but I race for me because I want to be successful"

Geared up for a challenge: "The gender issue will always be there but I race for me because I want to be successful"

She's leading the pack of up-and-coming female racing drivers and set to become the first woman to race in a grand prix since the 80s. We caught up with the star of the BBC's prime-time documentary "DRIVEN: The Fastest Woman in the World"...

Scotland punches well above its weight in sports. Do you feel pressure to live up to the likes of Andy Murray and Chris Hoy?

Susie Wolff: I feel lucky that I can look around and see so many other successful Scots #flyingtheflag.

I think we can be very proud of what we have achieved as a small country in sport on an international level. I feel lucky that I can look around and see so many other successful Scots flying the flag.

You're a woman in F1. You're probably bored of getting asked about that aren't you?

It is just the way it is. I don’t race to prove a point about women being able to compete against men equally. I race because it is my passion and I love it. The gender issue will always be there but I race for me because I want to be successful.

Nascar's Danica Patrick has come under fire for doing 'sexy' photo shoots. Does this make it difficult for women to be taken seriously?

"I don’t see sexy photo shoots being an issue, as @DanicaPatrick backs up her image with strong results on track" #susiewolff

I think any sponsor is interested in having someone they can promote and who represents their brand well, male or female. Some drivers in F1 are doing aftershave adverts and watch advertisements so its part of the package. Danica backs up her image with strong results on track so I don’t see it being an issue. It has helped her get to where she is and she has no problem with it so why not?

Susie Wolff

Who's your top tip for this year's F1 title?

I think it will be very hard to beat Vettel again, the car is fast, and he is confident and strong. His main competitors will be Alonso and Hamilton but he is still the man to beat.

Who are your biggest role models in motorsport?

There is no female who has achieved what I hope to achieve so I feel like I am just on my path and I’m enjoying every minute of chasing my dream.

Susie Wolff

Your brother helped make the BBC documentary about you, Driven. How did that feel?

There were a couple of times when we wanted to throttle each other! I am more of a private person so obviously letting someone in that close can be quite difficult, particularly when things are not going well but I think the fact it was my brother meant that I opened up a lot more than I otherwise would have.

You got to test-drive the FW35 before anybody else. That must have been pretty fun! Do you think it'll get you one step closer to a race seat?

I was very proud. You have to imagine, there are over 500 people at the Williams factory in Grove working on building that new car so to drive it for the first time was a big honour. There were many engineers and designers there to watch their “baby” do its first few kilometre’s. Was a special day. Yes, each day spent in the car and with the team gets me better prepared and closer to F1.

You started out in DTM with Mercedes before moving to F1. How are you finding the transition?

DTM is an incredibly high level of racing; just look what Paul Di Resta managed to achieve moving from DTM to F1. Without a doubt my seven years in DTM helped me progress and improve as a driver as the level of racing is so high. You could put more than half of the DTM grid in an F1 car and they would perform very well.

Susie Wolff

You're an FIA Ambassador for women in motor sport. What's involved?

"The main job as an FIA Ambassador is to show women that we have a place in a male dominated world" #susiewolff

The main job is just to show women that we have a place in what is otherwise seen as a very male dominated world. We are not pushing women in, it has to happen organically but it’s simply about creating a network where women can help and inspire each other.

As a woman in motorsport, how important is the support of family?

It is important for anyone! I think no matter what you do in life, family is the basis of everything. I am so lucky to have a brilliant family and without them I would never have made it as a professional racing driver.

What upcoming events are you looking forward to this year in motorsport?

I am lucky to attend every F1 GP so this I already look forward to. I hope to also make it to Goodwood Festival of Speed this year.

What would you cook as your meal on Come Dine with Me?

I’m a terrible cook (my poor husband!) and I only have a few signature dishes, which I cook over and over. I think a traditional roast chicken dinner, this I learnt properly from my Grandma.

Mercedes Benz C-Class AMG Sport Coupe

You get to drive sports cars for a living. What do you drive to the supermarket?

I drive a Mercedes Benz C-Class Coupe in white with AMG sports package.

About the Author

Jodie Davidson

Staff writer at Arnold Clark